On June 20, President Trump restarted his campaign for the 2020 presidential election which will be held on November 3, and held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I studied at Thomas Edison Preparatory High School for a year as an exchange student of the American Field Service program 55 years ago, and Tulsa is my second home town. Tulsa City had a population of about 400,000 as of July 2019. It is a well-off city which produces abundant oil for the US oil industry.
Currently, large-scale demonstrations in protest against the police violence against African Americans and racial injustice are spreading across the US. Tulsa was the site of a race massacre in 1921, and because of this incident, the fact that President Trump chose this place for return of his campaign rallies spurred various speculations among many people in the US, particularly those in Tulsa. Whatever the case may be, since the race problem is a fatal issue in American history, this problem should be resolved by all means. Consequently, the participants in the rally were fewer than expected. It seems to me that the President’s law-and-order campaign is not appropriate in coping with the racial issue.
In his speech at the rally, the President referred to the strategy of a ‘law and order’ for large-scale demonstrations in protest against racial injustice throughout the US, stressing that the rioters’ act of tearing down the statues is equal to vandalizing American history. In fact, most of the demonstrations marched peacefully, but some of them turned out to be violent. Those rioters, who believed that the current race problem is attributed to the slavery in American history, tore down a number of statues of historical figures. In view of those demonstrators’ perceptions of racism, many local governments in the US decided to remove the monuments and memorials, and some of them have already been removed. The anti-racism activists made a list of statues of historical figures like General Lee of the Confederate States of America in the US Civil War, Cristopher Columbus who discovered America, the First US President George Washington, and the 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Indeed the disputes on the selection of statues for removal will arise, but it is said that both sides’ opinions on racism will fully be taken into account in handling this matter. The President believes historical monuments should be preserved as they are, and opposed the statue removals.